Skip to main content Accessibility help

Energy and amino acid requirements of broiler chickens: keeping pace with the genetic progress

  • U. AFTAB (a1)


Today's broiler is characterised by faster-, leaner-growth. A large part of this progress is attributed to the genetic selection that had, and continues to improve growth rate and composition of gain at steady pace. As an illustration of such increases in performance, 2.3 kg live gain (slaughter weight) has been reduced from requiring 52 days in 1995 to 36 days in 2017 - a reduction of 0.73 days per year. In addition, meat yield has increased as a proportion of the carcass, being 12% of body weight in the year 1957 and increasing to 20% in 2001 Recent work in 2017 using high density diets has shown to capacity of birds to attain an FCR of 1.19 at 2500 g live BW. Current research suggests that the optimum level of energy may be well below the recommendation by the primary breeders. For example, reducing energy from 100 to 92.5% (around -200 kcal/kg of diet) resulted in only 2 points loss in body weight corrected FCR. Indeed, very recent work showed that a similar reduction of -200 kcal/kg feed in finisher AME resulted in similar, or higher gains and breast yield while having no effect on FE. Published data regarding the balance between energy and protein in feed suggests an optimum AA density between 100 to 120% of breeder recommendations. It can be therefore suggested that today's broiler needs a higher ratio of essential amino acids to energy. In addition to a net increase in the absolute requirement of amino acids, there is an argument for higher dietary ratio of lysine: essential amino acids which will support increased meat production and may better fit modern broiler genetics.


Corresponding author

Corresponding author:


Hide All
AFTAB, U. (2006) Low protein diets for broiler. World's Poultry Science Journal 62: 688-701.
BAKER, D.H. (1994) Ideal amino acid profile for maximal protein accretion and minimal nitrogen excretion in swine and poultry. Proceedings 56th Cornell Nutrition Conference, New York, USA. Pp. 134-139.
BAKER, D.H. and HAN, Y. (1994) Ideal amino acid profile for chicks during the first three weeks posthatching. Poultry Science 73: 1441-1447.
BAKER, D.H., BATAL, A.B., PARR, T.M., AUGSPURGER, M.R. and PARSONS, C.M. (2002) Ideal ratio (relative to lysine) of tryptophan, threonine, isoleucine, and valine for chicks during the second and third weeks posthatch. Poultry Science 81: 485-494.
CAMPBELL, R.G. (1988) Nutritional constraints to lean tissue accretion in farm animals. Nutrition Research Reviews 1: 233-253.
CERRATE, S. and CORZO, A. (2019) Lysine and energy trends in feeding modern commercial broilers. International Journal of Poultry Science 18: 28-38.
CHANG, A., ELFICK, D., SOONCHARERNYING, S. and CERRATE, S. (2015) Performance of Ross 308 broilers fed different levels of energy and balance protein under moderate heat-stress. In: 26th Annual Australian Poultry Science Symposium, Sydney New South wales. Pp. 117-120.
CHO, M. (2011) The impact of dietary energy and amino acid content on the feed intake and performance of broiler chickens. MSc. Thesis, University of Saskatchewan, Canada.
CORZO, A., KIDD, M.T., BURNHAM, D.J. and KERR, B.J. (2004) Dietary glycine needs of broiler chicks. Poultry Science 83: 1382-1384.
DE LANGE, C.F.M. and SWANSON, K.C. (2006) Genetic influences in nutrient utilization in growing farm animals, in: MOSENTHIN, R., ZENTEK, Z. & ZEBROWSKA, T. (Eds) Biology of nutrition in growing animals, pp. 541-558 (Elsevier).
DEAN, D.W., BINDER, T.D. and SOUTHERN, L.L. (2006) Glycine supplementation to low protein, amino acid-supplemented diet supports optimal performance of broiler chicks. Poultry Science 85: 288-296.
DORIGAM, J.C.P., SAKOMURA, M.K., SILVA, E.P., WECKE, C., SUENDER, A. and LIEBERT, F. (2013) Optimum dietary amino acid ratio for broilers based on dietary amino acid dilution. Proceeding 19th European Symposium on Poultry Nutrition. Potsdam, Germany.
EMMANS, G.C. and FISHER, C. (1986) Problems of nutritional theory, in: FISHER, C. & BOORMAN, K.N. (Eds) Nutritional requirements and nutritional theory, pp. 9-57 (London, Butterworths).
EMMERT, J.L. and BAKER, D.H. (1997) Use of the ideal protein concept for precision formulation of the amino acid levels in broiler diets. Journal of Applied Poultry Research 6: 462-470.
FORBES, J.M. (1985) Metabolic aspects of the regulation of voluntary food intake and appetite. Nutrition Research Reviews 1: 145-168.
GOPINGER, E., KRABBE, E.L., SUREK, D., LOPES, L.S. and AVILA, V.S. (2017) Live performance, carcass and bone quality responses of grower and finisher broiler to dietary metabolizable energy level. Brazilian Journal of Poultry Science 19: 559-566.
HAVENSTEIN, H.B., FERKET, P.R. and QURESHI, M.A. (2003) Growth, livability, and feed conversion of 1957 versus 2001 broilers when fed representative 1957 and 2001 diet. Poultry Science 82: 1500-1508.
HEGER, J. and PACK, M. (1996) Effects of glycine + serine on starting broiler performance as influenced by dietary crude protein levels. Agribiological Research 49: 257-265.
HU, Y.D., LAN, D., ZHU, Y., PANG, H.Z., MU, X.P. and HU, X.F. (2018) Effect of diet with different energy and lipase levels on performance, digestibility and carcass trait in broilers. Asian-Australasian Journal of Animal Science 31: 2175-1284.
JIANG, Q., WALDROUP, P.W. and FRITTS, C.A. (2005) Improving the utilization of diet low in crude protein. 1. Evaluation of special amino acid supplementation on diets low in crude protein. International Journal of Poultry Science 4: 115-122.
LAMOT, D. (2017) First week nutrition of broiler chickens: effects on growth, metabolic status, organ development, and carcass composition. PhD Thesis, Wageningen NL.
LEESON, S., CASTON, L. and SUMMERS, J.D. (1996a) Broiler response to diet energy. Poultry Science 75: 529-535.
LEESON, S., CASTON, L. and SUMMERS, J.D. (1996b) Broiler response to energy or energy and protein dilution in finisher phase. Poultry Science 75: 522-528.
LEMME, A. (2003) The ‘Ideal Protein Concept’ in broiler nutrition 1. Methodological aspects - opportunities and limitations. Amino News Volume 4, Number 1.
MACK, S., BERCOVICI, D., DE GROOTE, G., LECLERCQ, B., LIPPENS, M., PACK, M., SCHUTTE, J.B. and VAN CAUWENBERGHE, S. (1999) Ideal amino acid profile and dietary lysine specification for broiler chickens of 20 and 40 days of age. British Poultry Science 40: 257-265.
MAYNARD, C.W., LATHAM, R.E., BRISTER, R., OWENS, C.M. and ROCHELL, S.J. (2019) Effect of dietary energy and amino acid density during finisher and withdrawal phases on live performance and carcass characteristics of Cobb MV x 700 broilers. Journal of Applied Poultry Research 28: 729-742.
OSPINA-ROJAS, I.C., MURAKAMI, A.E., EYNG, C., NUNES, R.V., DUARTE, C.R.A. and VERGAS, M.D. (2012) Commercially available amino acid supplementation of low-protein diets for broiler chickens with different ratios of digestible glycine + serine: lysine. Poultry Science 91: 3148-3155.
ROSTAGNO, H., PAEZ, L. and ALBINO, L. (2013) Nutrient requirement of broiler for optimal growth and lean mass. Proceedings 16th European Symposium on Poultry Nutrition. pp. 91-98.
SHARMA, N.K., CHOCT, M., TOGHYANI, M., LAURENSON, Y.C.S.M., GIRISH, C.K. and SWICK, R.A. (2018) Dietary energy, digestible lysine, and available phosphorus levels affect growth performance, carcass traits, and amino acid digestibility of broilers. Poultry Science 97: 1189-1198.
STRAKOVA, E., SUCHY, P., VITULA, F. and VECEREK, V. (2006) Differences in amino acid composition of muscles from pheasant and broiler chickens. Archiv für Tierzucht 49: 508-514.
SVIHUS, B. (2011) Limitations to wheat starch digestion in growing broiler chickens: A brief review. Animal Production Science 51: 583-589.
VIEIRA, S.L. and ANGEL, C.R. (2012) Optimizing broiler performance using different amino acid density diets: what are the limits? Journal of Applied Poultry Research 21: 149-155.
WAGUESPACK, A.M., POWEL, S., BINDER, T.D., PAYNE, R.L. and SOUTHERN, L.L. (2009) Effect of incremental levels of L-lysine and determination of the limiting amino acids in low crude protein corn-soybean meal diets for broilers. Poultry Science 88: 1216-1226.
WALDROUP, P.W., JIANG, Q. and FRITTS, C.A. (2005) Effects of glycine and threonine supplementation on performance of broiler chicks fed diets low in crude protein. International Journal of Poultry Science 4: 250-257.


Energy and amino acid requirements of broiler chickens: keeping pace with the genetic progress

  • U. AFTAB (a1)


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed